Due to legislation that was passed during the May special session in the General Assembly, changes were made to the state’s election laws. Senate Bill 1863 was passed and subsequently signed into law by Governor Pritzker on June 16, 2020, as Public Act 101-642, which makes notable changes for the 2020 General Election:
- Requires all election authorities (County Clerks) to mail an application to vote by mail to everyone who voted or otherwise applied for a ballot in person or by mail in the 2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election, as well as anyone who registered to vote or updated their address from March 18, 2020, to July 31, 2020;
- Declares November 3, 2020, a state holiday for schools, public universities and government offices (except election authorities);
- Creates the ability for election authorities to use “drop box” collection sites for postage free return of ballots;
- Allows for curbside voting;
- Allows for individuals 16 years of age or older to be elections judges under certain requirements.
If you receive an application to vote by mail, you ARE NOT REQUIRED to complete the application and return it to your election authority. All registered voters are still able to vote in person during early voting or on Election Day, November 3.
If you request a vote by mail ballot but wish to vote in person, either early or on Election Day, you must bring the uncompleted vote by mail ballot to your polling location. Upon turning over the uncompleted vote by mail ballot to the election judge, you will receive a ballot to vote in person. If you do not bring the uncompleted vote by mail ballot, you will receive a provisional ballot to be counted after it is certified that no vote by mail ballot was submitted in your name.
If you do choose to vote by mail, your vote by mail ballot must be postmarked or placed in a “drop box” by Election Day, November 3, 2020, and it will be counted.
For additional information about the 2020 General Election changes, Cook County residents may visit the Clerk’s website here.